TDG 9: Troop Leading Steps Part I: Begin the Plan

Originally posted on American Partisan on May 11, 2021

I started this series, TDG (Tactical Decision Game) Tuesdays, to get you more in the mindset of how you could potentially handle a given tactical scenario with a limited amount of resources and manpower. My goal is to get you to read these scenarios and think about what resources you have available, what sort of scenarios you might encounter, and what gaps you need to fill in your equipment/training.

This week, I am starting a new mini-series on the six troop leading steps, abbreviated as BAMCIS.

Begin Planning
Arrange Recon
Make Recon
Complete the Plan
Issue the Order

Over the next few weeks, the TDGs will be a successive continuation of the same exercise in which you will go over the complete planning and execution of a squad-sized raid on an objective, while following the 6 troop leading steps listed above.

This week’s TDG covers the first step, Begin Planning.

Anytime you conduct an operation, you start by creating a tentative plan and scheme of maneuver based on your METT-TC analysis (given below). As you develop your plan, you will come up with RFIs (requests for information) that you will seek to answer with a preliminary reconnaissance of your objective.

Your assignment this week is to read the following scenario, come up with a tentative plan to accomplish your mission, and create a list of RFIs for the reconnaissance that you will plan and conduct in next week’s TDG.

TDG 9: Begin the Plan

Map A

Map B

Orientation: The island nation of Altis is a small (fictional) nation in the Mediterranean Sea. The country historically has maintained neutrality in the political tensions between NATO countries and the Russian Federation, and has attempted to stay friendly to both sides. However, Russia has had their eye on the oil-rich islands for several years, and 6 months ago demanded that the Altisian government sign exclusive trade agreements for oil, which the Altisian government denied in their attempt to remain neutral. Being small, Altis has no standing army of its own, but has instead relied on locally organized militias for its defense.

Two weeks ago, Russian forces invaded Altis via amphibious landing in the South, seizing the island’s largest airstrip, and began pushing north. Altisian militias have been unable to repel the invaders, and many units have fled to the countryside to fight a guerrilla war as light infantry. NATO immediately condemned the invasion, and at the request of the Altisian Government, the United States sent the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to seize a beachhead on the Northern end of the Island and hold it until follow-on forces can be mobilized and deployed to counter the Russian invasion.

At present, US Marines are holding the Thronos mountain ridgeline (see map A). A Russian motorized infantry battalion is positioned at the town of Oreokastro, awaiting reinforcements as they fly into the airfield to the South East. A battalion of tanks has been spotted at the Russian staging area West of Agios Minas, and is likely to be sent North West to reinforce the Russian infantry in Oreokastro in the next few days. They will likely need to refuel along the way in order to have enough diesel to reach Oreokastro and conduct maneuvers after they arrive.

You command a squad-sized element of Altisian Militia. You are operating independently of any higher command structure, since every attempt at establishing a command post has been immediately triangulated by Russian EW assets and wiped out by artillery.

METT-TC Analysis:

Mission: You have decided to conduct a raid on the Russian refueling station located about 600m north of your current Patrol Base (see map B) in order to destroy it. If you are successful, the Russian tank battalion will not have enough fuel to maneuver once it reaches Oreokastro, delaying a combined-arms attack on the US Marines on Thronos, giving NATO more time to reinforce the beachhead.

Enemy: You know nothing about the Russian force at the fuel depot except that they are there. While the Russians’ focus is to the north, they are aware of the presence of militia units in the countryside and may have allocated troops to protect the depot. Upon contact with the enemy, they will likely send a reaction force from Oreokastro to retake the depot. They are unlikely to call in artillery support for fear of destroying their own fuel supplies, even if they know we have taken the depot. They will most likely attempt to recapture it instead.

Terrain and Weather: Topographical data is available on Map B. A picture of the general landscape is shown below:

Troops and Support available: You have 14 men in your squad, organized as follows:

  • 3 fire teams, each consisting of a Rifleman, a Team Leader, an Automatic Rifleman, and Assistant Automatic Rifleman.
  • Yourself (Squad Leader), and
  • A radio operator

Your squad is outfitted with western-style small arms, mostly AR-pattern rifles. Your men have evaded contact so far, and still have a full combat load of 7 magazines each, 21 mags for each automatic rifle (distributed between the gunner and assistant gunners).

You and your team leaders have night vision devices.

Time Available: You estimate that you have 48 -72 hours before the tank battalion arrives to refuel.

Civil Considerations: The militias currently have the sympathy and support of the civilian populace. The Russian fuel depot is located right next to a civilian gas station, which the locals use. Destroying it along with the Russian fuel depot could make the populace less willing to help you, plus you need to be careful not to catch any civilians in the crossfire during your raid.

Once again, your assignment this week is to read the above scenario, come up with a tentative plan to accomplish your mission, and create a list of RFIs for the reconnaissance that you will conduct in next week’s TDG. Comment your rough plan and RFIs below and discuss.

This scenario was created using the mission editor on ArmA III.

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at

7 thoughts on “TDG 9: Troop Leading Steps Part I: Begin the Plan

  1. that’s a tough one Mike. a lot of open terrain, and they will have remote sentries with comm’s and NV. hard to get into and out of without being open to ground fire or air attacks. i’m thinking some kind of pincer movement to pin them down and distract them to the front and then advance from the rear. again, they will have comm’s so they can call in air support. it would have to happen real fast, in and out.
    me, i would wait until they left to go on patrol and pick em off in small numbers. it would hurt their moral. you know, psy-ops. it’s what the Afghans/ Taliban did from the 80’s on and they are still there.


  2. No military experience here. Since were indigenous population if possible I would send one of my most non descript people to “get gas” at the gas station so that they can observe the depot and report back.
    As far as taking action that depends on what was reported back.
    Since its a fuel depot tanker trucks or smaller fuel trucks would be expected and could quickly be modified to hide an attack force. Using 2 trucks, hiding 2 five teams plus the drivers, could be a way to gain entry since the fuel depot likely has barber wire fencing and the terrain looks like it wouldnt support sneaking up on the depot. I would have one guy “outside the wire” to create a diversion somehow and the radio operator at the gas station coordinating with the 2 teams and the diversionary guy to time everything just right.
    Once the depot has been secured proceed with destroying any equipment that can be found and destroying any valving on the pipelines that can be found. This should render the depot inoperable but repairable with time.


  3. RFI #1 – How many bad guys are there and what is their pattern of life?

    RFI #2 – What do the depot defenses look like?

    RFI #3 – Where and how is the fuel stored?

    I think these questions will have to be answered before a raid can be conducted.


  4. RFI1) what size is the enemy force at fuel depot? Static or patrolling?
    RFI2) what weapons are visible? Visible defensive positions?
    RFI3) WHAT is the layout and weakness in the fuel distribution system? Electrical? Above ground storage tanks?
    RFI4) identify enemy comms or comms personal location
    RFI5) areas allowing concealed approach
    RFI6) sketch these RFI answers onto a map


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